Fleet sales have continued to carry new car sales as the private sector is down for a further month.
The September 66-plate change has helped the UK automotive industry to continue its long run of returning record car sales numbers.
More than 469,696 new cars were registered this September, some 388,000 more than in the previous month, which makes it the most successful September on record, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
So far, this year has seen 2,150,495 new vehicles registered, which is a 2.6% rise compared to the same period last year, and only the second time that the two-million vehicle mark has been passed by September since 2004.
With private registrations down 1.7%, fleet sales are still carrying the market. The month of September saw fleet sales rise by a huge 7.3%.
Although diesel engines have been on the receiving end of bad publicity, the SMMT figures show diesel sales rose by 2.8% in the month while petrol sales fell.
However, it is the alternatively fuelled vehicles that continue to outpace the market. Registrations were up 36.2% on the same month last year, and now account for a modest, but growing market share of 3.4%.
The Ford Fiesta remains the UK’s best-selling car by a large margin. The year has seen 96,139 new Fiesta’s registered – with 19,769 notched in the month of September. The next best seller is the Vauxhall Corsa, with 64,925 registrations, followed by the Ford Focus at 57,137.
The British-built Nissan Qashqai was the fifth best seller while the Mercedes C-Class and the Vauxhall Mokka also found their way into the top 10 alongside the MINI in eighth.
Rising fleet demand and has surely helped Mercedes to increase sales by nearly 20% this year. It’s rivals, Audi and BMW also show rising sales. Equally impressive was Jaguar Land Rover, which saw year-to-date registrations go up by nearly 50% for Jaguar and 28%for Land Rover.